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Puppet on a String does the business for the UK at Eurovision
After years of nearly winning, the United Kingdom finally pulls its socks up and takes the Eurovision prize.
☞ by Allen Therisa in Eurovision
Puppet on a String
Sandie Shaw, United Kingdom
47 points (first)
WHAT ABOUT THE CONTEST?
Coming from Vienna in Austria, the stage is a little formal, with a slightly distracting twirling mirrored backdrop and some dangerous steps down to the front of the stage.
Eurovision old school.
Please stop smiling in the audience and only clap in moderation, if you don't mind.
AND THE GROUP (OR ARTISTE)?
Sandie Shaw (pictured).
Yes, we know: Sandie Shaw, all barefoot and giving it everything, despite the very real threat to her artistic credibility (and feet), as that big old mirror twirls behind her right shoulder.
Oompah, oompah, fairground twinkly-winkly camp; a marching band doing a two-step, some blathering lyrics about being a prisoner of love and the first proper outing for the infamous British Eurovision banger. Not so much written, as bolted together in an almost pleasing pastiche of a real song, to Win, Win, Win!
It's a little odd.
Shaw famously refused to sing Puppet on a String for years after the contest (being a serious artist, and all that), though she does sing it now, and rather surprisingly, it still works its bizarro magic.
AND IT CAME WHERE?
Well, colour me happy, but we have a winner!
Puppet on a String not only took the prize (with 47 points, beating Ireland into second place with 22 points) but it also went on to be one of the great Eurovision standards.
Just the sound of that fairground opening is enough to set feet tapping.
For some people, obviously.
BUT WHO WAS THE REAL WINNER?
The other big hero of the night has to be Vicky Leandros, singing for Luxembourg one of the prettiest songs ever to grace the contest (the sublime L'amour est bleu).
Wait a minute, Vicky Leandros, you say? The same Vicky Leandros that would go on to win (in the real sense of the word) Eurovision in 1972?
Yes, though that's entirely another story.
SO, IN SUMMARY
Fabulous and kooky, if somewhat machine-tooled, Puppet on a String is a song that implants itself into the brains of everyone who hears it, delivered on the night by a barefooted temptress who brings home the Euro bacon for dear old Blighty.
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